Close encounter with great white shark caught on video
A GROUP of keen anglers was forced to hold on for dear life when a massive shark decided to nudge and nibble at their boat while they were fishing off the state's South-East coast.
The great white, estimated at about 4.5 metres long, spent about 10 minutes circling the boat while occasionally biting the motor and nudging the vessel, causing it to rock back and forth, about 2km off the coast of Eight Mile Creek, near Port Macdonnell, on Saturday.
After staring at the shark in disbelief for several minutes, fisherman Andrew Russell managed to capture part of the close encounter on his mobile phone, posting it to Facebook where it has amassed more than 5000 views.
Mr Russell, 31, of Mount Gambier, was fishing with his partner Dani McKinnon, his uncle Colin and cousin Darcy when the shark approached about 2.30pm.
"Andrew just saw a shadow, a brown spot coming up the back of the boat," Ms McKinnon said.
"It nudged the boat a few times.
"It rocked a little bit (and) at one point Andrew said 'hold on' because it shook it. I was quite worried.
"It (also) bit the motor and gave it a bit of a shake but ... I think it was just being curious."
Ms McKinnon, 22, said the group estimated the shark to be at least 4.5m long - just a metre short of the length of the boat they were in.
"The width of it as well … it was just so big - it was like a bus," she said. "We were just in awe."
Ms McKinnon said the shark swam around the boat and went back and forth up the side "just being inquisitive" for about 10 minutes, and at one stage flicked the vessel with its tail, before it had enough and went away.
Mr Russell said the experience was "pretty overwhelming".
"It wasn't aggravated or anything like that - it was pretty placid," he said.
"It just cruised around."
The group believed the shark was attracted the boat because they had dispersed a lot of berley during the day.
Mr Russell said they let other anglers know a large shark was lurking in the area after it swam away.
"We had a couple of people fishing in a little tinny (nearby) and we let them know and they were quick to pack up," he said.